MAKING YOUR MIND UNIMPEDED

 
unsmoked
 
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14 June 2012 17:54
 

About a thousand years ago Zen Master Dahui quoted Zen literature:

“If you want to know the realm of the enlightened, you should make your mind as clear as space; detach from subjective imaginings and from all grasping, making your mind unimpeded wherever it turns.”

impede  vt  :  to interfere with or slow the progress of syn  HINDER -  (Webster)

hinder  vt  1 :  to make slow or difficult the progress of :  HAMPER 2 :  to hold back :  CHECK ~  vi  to delay, impede, or prevent action

syn  HINDER, IMPEDE, OBSTRUCT, BLOCK mean to interfere with the activity or progress of.  HINDER stresses causing harmful or annoying delay or interference with progress;  IMPEDE implies making forward progress difficult by clogging, hampering, or fettering;  OBSTRUCT implies interfering with something in motion or in progress by the sometimes intentional placing of obstacles in the way;  BLOCK implies complete obstruction to passage or progress.  -  (Webster)

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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14 June 2012 19:41
 

UnS

If one’s mind is “unimpeded,” then what it is doing?  If it doing anything, does that not imply some constraints and therefore impedance?

 
 
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14 June 2012 22:38
 

What are the benefits of Zen enlightenment?  Since it doesn’t make you live forever and it doesn’t result in scientific knowledge and since it doesn’t make you rich, what good is it?  Seriously, what are the benefits of being enlightened? Inquiring minds want to know.

Pure science has the benefits of discoveries and innovations that actually change the way we live here and now.  Christianity, whether you believe it or not, at least offer eternal life. So do other religions. Zen? All that I can see that it does is result in incomprehensible sayings of “wisdom,” to which we are supposed to say “aaaahhhhhh.”

 
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14 June 2012 22:43
 

Pure science has the benefits of discoveries and innovations that actually change the way we live here and now.  Christianity, whether you believe it or not, at least offer eternal life. So do other religions. Zen? All that I can see that it does is result in incomprehensible sayings of “wisdom,” to which we are supposed to say “aaaahhhhhh.”

At a cost of turning over your lives now to the ministrations of some person on a pulpit who tells you how to live it, promising that after you’re dead, all will be delightful.  No thanks.

 
 
saralynn
 
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16 June 2012 12:29
 

Ecurb: What are the benefits of Zen enlightenment?  Since it doesn’t make you live forever and it doesn’t result in scientific knowledge and since it doesn’t make you rich, what good is it?  Seriously, what are the benefits of being enlightened? Inquiring minds want to know.

Pure science has the benefits of discoveries and innovations that actually change the way we live here and now.  Christianity, whether you believe it or not, at least offer eternal life. So do other religions. Zen? All that I can see that it does is result in incomprehensible sayings of “wisdom,” to which we are supposed to say “aaaahhhhhh.”

Personal and societal benefits:  One is no longer driven by impulses or circumstances to behave in ways detrimental to oneself or society. One thinks more clearly and realistically. One’s understanding of the mind is enlarged and deepened, judgments cease, and one feels more compassion and lovingkindness toward others, who are perceived as being deluded rather than sinister or evil.  Jesus’s “Forgive them, they know not what they do…” is very Buddhist. One has a greater capacity for living in the “now”, which is a rich, vibrant, and a “living” state, rather than functioning in the abstract world of ideas, which are usually forms of fantasy, related to the past and present. Fear, hatred,anger, greed, cruelty, envy, lust, and desire for power disappear, replaced by equanimity and compassion.

PS Just as you can be a Christian and a scientist; you can be a Buddhist and a scientist, so progress will not cease, if that is what you are worried about.

 
Nick_A
 
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16 June 2012 14:57
 

Sarlynn

PS Just as you can be a Christian and a scientist; you can be a Buddhist and a scientist, so progress will not cease, if that is what you are worried about.

As you know I am a beliver in the importance of the eventual unification of science and the essence of religion if humanity is to survive. Obviously then there cannot be an essential contradiction between the “HOW” of science and the WHY of the essence of religion.

Naturally i’m appreciative of these rare individuals able to further this union in an intelligent and meaningful manner.

Thomas J. McFarlane with Integral Science is one of these rare ones. He wrote a book called:

http://www.integralscience.org/einsteinbuddha/

Einstein A N D   Buddha
 
T H E   P A R A L L E L   S A Y I N G S

This remarkable book contains over 120 sayings from the founders of modern physics paired with parallel sayings from the seminal works of Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist contemplatives.  Einstein and Buddha is a fascinating collection of quotes that challenges us to think deeper about the relationship between modern physics and mystical insight. Although these two ways of understanding and investigating reality have significant differences, the parallels suggest that they share a mysterious and profound connection.
The parallel sayings are organized by theme and touch upon the nature of matter and energy, the relationship between subject and object, the understanding of time and space, the importance of direct experience, the role of paradox and contradiction in our understanding, the limits of language in describing reality, and the interdependence of all created things. Each section is accompanied by a brief introduction to how these concepts relate to the scientific and spiritual ways of knowing. On each page is an insightful quote from an eminent physicist such as Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, or David Bohm, together with a surprisingly similar statement from a renown authority of Eastern religion such as the Buddha, Chaung Tzu, the Upanishads, D. T. Suzuki, or the Dalai Lama.

Of course the practice of emotional denial prevents considering conscious intent or intelligent design linking the How and the Why. But for those open to impartial contemplation, pondering just the examples of parallel sayings offered on the page can be a mind opening experience and far more rewarding than indulging in emotional denial IMO.

Does a book like this serve in causing progress to cease or further the path to progress is a good question. Since such Ideas lead us in the direction of origin, I would call it real progress. So once again, I agree with Simone Weil who wrote:

“Nothing can have as its destination anything other than its origin. The contrary idea, the idea of progress, is poison.”

 
saralynn
 
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16 June 2012 17:31
 

Nick:Thomas J. McFarlane with Integral Science is one of these rare ones. He wrote a book called:

http://www.integralscience.org/einsteinbuddha

Hey, cool site.  Thanks.

 
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17 June 2012 03:03
 
Ecurb Noselrub - 14 June 2012 08:38 PM

.  Christianity, whether you believe it or not, at least offers eternal life.

Bruce, on this subject I think you’d be interested in a talk by Sam Harris at the recent atheist convention in Melbourne.  It was titled ‘Death and the Present Moment’.

If you find it on You Tube or elsewhere would you provide a link so others can easily get to it?  Maybe someone has already posted a link to it in another topic?

 
 
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17 June 2012 03:40
 
saralynn - 16 June 2012 10:29 AM

Personal and societal benefits:  One is no longer driven by impulses or circumstances to behave in ways detrimental to oneself or society. One thinks more clearly and realistically. One’s understanding of the mind is enlarged and deepened, judgments cease, and one feels more compassion and lovingkindness toward others, who are perceived as being deluded rather than sinister or evil.  Jesus’s “Forgive them, they know not what they do…” is very Buddhist. One has a greater capacity for living in the “now”, which is a rich, vibrant, and a “living” state, rather than functioning in the abstract world of ideas, which are usually forms of fantasy, related to the past and present. Fear, hatred,anger, greed, cruelty, envy, lust, and desire for power disappear, replaced by equanimity and compassion.

PS Just as you can be a Christian and a scientist; you can be a Buddhist and a scientist, so progress will not cease, if that is what you are worried about.

I’m not really worried about anything, I just want to know what good “enlightenment” is.  I realize that Christianity and Buddhism have a lot in common, but I just don’t see what the big deal is about their enlightenment. But, saralynn, thanks for your response. I always value your perspective - really. I’m sure I understand you more than anything unsmoked is going to say.

 
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17 June 2012 17:42
 
Ecurb Noselrub - 17 June 2012 01:40 AM
saralynn - 16 June 2012 10:29 AM

Personal and societal benefits:  One is no longer driven by impulses or circumstances to behave in ways detrimental to oneself or society. One thinks more clearly and realistically. One’s understanding of the mind is enlarged and deepened, judgments cease, and one feels more compassion and lovingkindness toward others, who are perceived as being deluded rather than sinister or evil.  Jesus’s “Forgive them, they know not what they do…” is very Buddhist. One has a greater capacity for living in the “now”, which is a rich, vibrant, and a “living” state, rather than functioning in the abstract world of ideas, which are usually forms of fantasy, related to the past and present. Fear, hatred,anger, greed, cruelty, envy, lust, and desire for power disappear, replaced by equanimity and compassion.

PS Just as you can be a Christian and a scientist; you can be a Buddhist and a scientist, so progress will not cease, if that is what you are worried about.

I’m not really worried about anything, I just want to know what good “enlightenment” is.  I realize that Christianity and Buddhism have a lot in common, but I just don’t see what the big deal is about their enlightenment. But, saralynn, thanks for your response. I always value your perspective - really. I’m sure I understand you more than anything unsmoked is going to say.

Saralynn has kindly offered Zen to the 11th Century Tejas monk in Christian terminology, sparing him the jolt of not understanding for a few seconds.

Zen master Dahui, quoted in the OP, also does his best not to be obscure:

“When you have no mind, Zen is easy to find.”

(Dahui continues)  “In Zen terminology, “mindlessness” does not mean insensitivity or ignorance.  It means that the mind is stable and does not get stirred up by the situations and circumstances one encounters;  it means the mind does not grasp anything, it is clear in all situations, unimpeded and undefiled, not dwelling on anything, even nondefilement.”  (end quote)

The fact that you’re not really worried about anything is a clear sign that you don’t need Zen.  Certainly you don’t need enlightenment.  Zen offers different prescriptions to treat different ailments so why would a healthy person like the Tejas monk swallow strange incomprehensible powders?  But surely Brother Ecurb realizes that not everyone has had a personal experience with Jesus’ dad, not everyone imagines that the memories stored in their brain are going to float around forever in the company of interesting luminaries and former Cowboy cheerleaders, drinking mead and playing cards with Jesus, Joan of Arc, and Sam Houston.

There’s a whole raft of people like myself out here who, in spite of a lifetime of foibles and downright personal failings think it might be possible to be calm, clear and peaceful in the midst of almost universal religious stupefaction.

(Dahui quoted from the book ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’  - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

 
 
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17 June 2012 21:07
 
unsmoked - 17 June 2012 03:42 PM

The fact that you’re not really worried about anything is a clear sign that you don’t need Zen.  Certainly you don’t need enlightenment.  Zen offers different prescriptions to treat different ailments so why would a healthy person like the Tejas monk swallow strange incomprehensible powders?  But surely Brother Ecurb realizes that not everyone has had a personal experience with Jesus’ dad, not everyone imagines that the memories stored in their brain are going to float around forever in the company of interesting luminaries and former Cowboy cheerleaders, drinking mead and playing cards with Jesus, Joan of Arc, and Sam Houston.

There’s a whole raft of people like myself out here who, in spite of a lifetime of foibles and downright personal failings think it might be possible to be calm, clear and peaceful in the midst of almost universal religious stupefaction.

Well, if you are talking about peace and calm, I can understand that. It’s the “enlightenment” idea that was tripping me up. If Zen gives you inner peace, that’s worth something. Go for it.

 
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18 June 2012 04:36
 
Ecurb Noselrub - 17 June 2012 07:07 PM

Well, if you are talking about peace and calm, I can understand that. It’s the “enlightenment” idea that was tripping me up. If Zen gives you inner peace, that’s worth something. Go for it.

Yeah.  The trite “inner peace” makes better sense to me than “enlightenment”.  My Zen was mountain biking and water polo.  My body moved without thought, just natural reactions to the moment, making my mind entirely clear during those times.  And while those times don’t last the effects do.  The goal of meditation, for me, is doing without thinking while the fruits of not thinking are well described by saralynn.

 
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19 June 2012 14:31
 
Ecurb Noselrub - 14 June 2012 08:38 PM

What are the benefits of Zen enlightenment?  Since it doesn’t make you live forever and it doesn’t result in scientific knowledge and since it doesn’t make you rich, what good is it?  Seriously, what are the benefits of being enlightened? Inquiring minds want to know.

Pure science has the benefits of discoveries and innovations that actually change the way we live here and now.  Christianity, whether you believe it or not, at least offer eternal life. So do other religions. Zen? All that I can see that it does is result in incomprehensible sayings of “wisdom,” to which we are supposed to say “aaaahhhhhh.”

“My heart complained: ‘I long for inspiration,
I long for wisdom, to be taught and learn.’
I breathed the letter A, my heart replied:
‘A is enough to occupy this house.’”